Ryan Reaves scored in his return to action last night
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Ryan Reaves speaks following his 1st game back since making his controversial comments

Published January 28, 2024 at 10:13

The Toronto Maple Leafs head into their bye week on a 3-game win streak after defeating the Winnipeg Jets for the second time in four days last night. Ahead of their 4-2 win in Winnipeg, the Leafs learned that Calle Jarnkrok would be out week-to-week with a broken knuckle, suffered after blocking a shot in practice. His injury gave Ryan Reaves an opportunity to get back into the lineup in his hometown and he did not disappoint.

Reaves, who was injured on December 14th against Columbus when he caught a rut and banged his knee off of the boards awkwardly, returned to the lineup after a six week absence, following an interview with Sportsnet's Luke Fox last week, when he claimed he had been healthy for weeks. Reaves made an impact immediately in his return in his hometown, scoring in the final minute of the first period to send the Leafs to the intermission tied at one with the Jets.

"Oh man, it felt really good," Reaves said following the game. "It's been a while being on the sheet itself, that one felt good. I've been working on my tips for a couple of months while I've been injured. I'm glad that one paid off."

Reaves saw 9:33 of ice-time last night, which was his third highest total of the season. The increased ice time was, in large, due to what Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe saw from his play in his return to the lineup.

"Reavo gave us lots here tonight. Lots of energy. Physical. Defensively really good. I liked that line here tonight."

As happy as Keefe was with Reaves' play last night, the 37-year-old was equally pleased.

"I liked where my game was today. I thought our line got on the forecheck well and handled the D-zone. I hope I'm able to build off it."

Unfortunately for Reaves and the Leafs, he will have to wait 10 days to build on what might be his best game as a Leaf, given the Leafs are now on their bye week which leads them into the All-Star break.

Reaves signed a 3-year, $4.05M deal with the Leafs in July, which carries a $1.35M AAV, and while he started the season with a bang, he struggled mightily until his injury. His play last night, being physical, competing hard and being more reliable defensively is what the Leafs were envisioning for him when he joined the team. Through 22 games as a Leaf, Reaves has 2 goals and 47 hits and has averaged just over 7 minutes of ice-time per game.

January 28   |   471 answers
Ryan Reaves speaks following his 1st game back since making his controversial comments

Was Saturday's win over Winnipeg Ryan Reaves' best game as a Leaf?

Yes44995.3 %
No224.7 %
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